Roof Rack Question

gt350pilot

Gear Grinder
Sep 7, 2010
16
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Hoping somebody could help me with a question about my new acquisition.

My wagon came with the pictured roof rack. It certainly appears to be stock as the cast portions match the roof perfectly. The odd part is that I have looked through 40 pages of google images for wagons as well as every member gallery here. In all of that I haven't found another picture of one like it. I really like it and even if I am wrong and it isn't a factory piece, I plan to keep it. Just hoping that somebody might know a bit more about it. Thanks everybody![attachment=0:2qsoinhc]100_1903.JPG[/attachment:2qsoinhc][attachment=1:2qsoinhc]100_1902.JPG[/attachment:2qsoinhc][attachment=2:2qsoinhc]100_1901.JPG[/attachment:2qsoinhc]
 

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cnsay

Well Oiled
Jun 20, 2010
1,482
North Idaho
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
Haven't seen one like it before. The bars that run lengthwise look like they are mounted directly to the roof. I would guess it was a factory add on that did not sell in large numbers. Welcome aboard and put up a few pics of the rest of the wagon when you get a chance.

Did find a pic with what may be a similar rack, but from a bad angle to tell for sure.
 

gt350pilot

Gear Grinder
Sep 7, 2010
16
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Thanks for the pic of another wagon with what appears to be the same rack. It appears to confirm that it was an option. The few books that I have looked through did not indicate that there was a rack option, so I wasn't sure. The bars that run lengthwise are attached directly to the roof with a rubber gasket that mercifully appears to be salvagable. I have removed the rack to put Willy into the garage and have dutifully wrapped the parts in blankets and put away.
I posted pics of the wagon recently on the my thread "New project, lots of questions" on the introduce yourself forum.
Thanks for the help.
 

cnsay

Well Oiled
Jun 20, 2010
1,482
North Idaho
First Name
Chris
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
The bars on the roof is one of the biggest reasons I think it is factory. Not sure what books you looked in, but the Willys-Overland, and Kaiser-Willys motor companies were real bad at keeping track of what was done. And they were pretty good at using parts from previous models to finish a vehicle and to retitle a vehicle to the year sold instead of the year produced.
 

kramwit

Bigger Hammer
Sep 16, 2010
99
Colorado Springs,CO
First Name
Mark
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1959
My father passed away in 2007 and I cleaned out his stash of magazines with a couple had Willys wagon ads in them. The rack and front bucket seats were an option for the "Sports Model" package also heavier leif springs were an option as well from the standard 9-10 leif's( as many as 12 or as few as 7). The "Sport" package offered stainless or chrome trim inside and out. Of course for an extra price. Also rear roof handles was an option.

The roof rack became popular in the early 61' with the one of the photo shoots the "Beach Boys" singing group. It had the rack, a custome job then, for the surf boards. Willys made it part of an add-on that same year. Unfortunately they didn't use the Willys pics for their album, they used a 32 Ford coupe. :evil:
 

gt350pilot

Gear Grinder
Sep 7, 2010
16
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Thanks Mark for the great information regarding the rack. I am glad to know that it is original. I will have to be on the lookout for some of the literature that references the rack. Not sure if my '56 was a "sports model" or not but there isn't much left of the interior to determine if there was extra chrome or not.
Regardless, thanks again for the info. :thumbup:
 

retmotor

Bigger Hammer
Aug 19, 2010
100
Montana
Willys Model
Willys Year:
Just Yesterday saw a very similar roof rack on pre-1960 wagon in downtown Hamilton, MT. How it attached to the roof might have been different (I'm not that tall...). But it was the same size and shape.
 

kramwit

Bigger Hammer
Sep 16, 2010
99
Colorado Springs,CO
First Name
Mark
Willys Model
  1. Wagon
Willys Year:
  1. 1959
No problem! Happy to contribute. Had a lot of time recovering from back surgery to do all kinds of research. Now I need to get busy and rebuild it all. Finishe my dana 44 with 4.89 gears and have a spare rear axle with 5.38 gears but looking for a 4.11 or a 3.97 gears ti make it a lettle faster on the hiway. My T86E tranny has the overdrive too. :D With 205/75/15 tires I'll be able to go up to 70mph!


gt350pilot said:
Thanks Mark for the great information regarding the rack. I am glad to know that it is original. I will have to be on the lookout for some of the literature that references the rack. Not sure if my '56 was a "sports model" or not but there isn't much left of the interior to determine if there was extra chrome or not.
Regardless, thanks again for the info. :thumbup:
 
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